There are many traditional and non-traditional holidays and observances in the U.S. Such as National Fried Chicken Day, Random Acts of Kindness week, or Breast Cancer Awareness month. The month of May is dubbed Skin Cancer Awareness month. Even though May is awareness month, awareness of skin cancer should be a year around observance. It is the most common type of cancer with over 3 million cases a year.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are three types of skin cancer, basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma.
Basal Cell: Is the most common type of diagnosed skin cancer. It is most commonly found on the face, neck or hands and is highly treatable and rarely spreads. Symptoms include a sore that oozes or bleeds, a redness area that is irritated, a yellow or white area that resembles a scar, and a pink pearly bump.
Squamous Cell: Is the second more common type of skin cancer. It is most commonly found in places that see a lot of sun like the ears, face, mouth, but it can develop anywhere on the body. Symptoms include a bump that turns in to an open sore, a bump that gets larger and a sore that won’t heal. When left untreated, it can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Melanoma: Is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It can develop anywhere on the body. When detected early it is considered highly treatable. Symptoms include a mole, freckle or new/existing spot that changes color, size or shape.
Some common risk factors of skin cancer include:
- Personal or family history
- Excessive Sun Exposure
- Increasing age
- History of sunburns
To learn more about skin cancer risk factors and prevention click here.
Another risk factor that can be added to the list would be smoking. In a new study from the University of Nottingham in England, Fiona Bath-Hextall and her colleagues pooled available evidence on the link between tobacco and basal and squamous cell cancers. Based on the 14 studies evaluated, smoking did not increase the risk of basal cell cancer. But the participants did have a 52 percent increase in their risk of squamous cell cancer, based of six studies that varied in size and duration. This extra risk would be equivalent to increased ultraviolet radiation, which is the most well-known risk factor for squamous cell cancer.
Along with basal cell cancer, smoking did not pose any higher risk for melanoma. More research is being conducted to indicate the exact correlation between smoking and the increase of squamous cell cancer.
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s FirstHealth Cancer Services offers treatment and support for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer patients in the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Troy and Rockingham regions of NC and beyond.
October 11, 2017
FirstHealth Joins Nation in Highlighting Breast Cancer AwarenessSushma Patel, M.D. PINEHURST – According to the American Cancer Society, there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things a woman…
September 19, 2017
Stand Together & Drink Pink 2017Register in the form provided to host your Drink Pink lemonade stand. To learn more about the Stand Together & Drink Pink campaign, click here. To ac…
July 18, 2017
FirstHealth Continues Cancer-Related Insomnia Study with Second Clinical TrialEllen Willard, M.D. PINEHURST – Certain medications, anxiety and “fear of the unknown” are known to contribute to the insomnia that cancer patients e…
December 19, 2017
Prepping for Pre-OpThis class will provide information to help you through your breast cancer diagnosis and surgery process. Topics will include: Preparation for surge…